Five years ago, “gazump” became the word of the summer as Chelsea snatched away Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez Ledesma, a.k.a. Pedro from Manchester United’s grasp at the eleventh hour.
Soon after, the former Barcelona lucky charm scored a goal and provided an assist on his debut — a 3-2 win over West Bromwich in the Premier League.
Five seasons, three trophies, over two-hundred appearances, and 42 goals later, Pedro left Chelsea at the end of the season. His new home will be in Rome — from one capital to another — where he will defend the badge of AS Roma. Like fellow veteran winger Willian, who left for Arsenal, Pedro has signed a three-year contract.
Pedro reportedly agreed to the move in June. He is expected to earn about half of what he reportedly had been at Chelsea, but that’s not what the move is about. At 33 years of age, Pedro was looking for more minutes (just 13 starts in all competitions this past season) and one final challenge in an illustrious, trophy-filled career.
“I am delighted to be here at Roma. I’m excited for this challenge and to compete to achieve our targets over the coming seasons. I want to thank the fans for the welcome they’ve given me. I hope to make them happy.”
-Pedro; source: AS Roma
We may not have gotten Pedro at his Barcelona peak, but many of his goals were absolutely crucial for Chelsea — especially during our league-winning 2016-17 campaign but also during our 2018-19 Europa League triumph — and there was never any doubt about his professionalism and commitment to the cause. The latter quality was evidenced in the last few seconds of his Blues career, even, wherein he dislocated a shoulder in a desperate search for an equalizer against Arsenal in the FA Cup final. Fortunately that injury and lengthy recovery didn’t affect his move to Roma.
Best of luck, Pedro! And thanks for everything.